Entry Controversy?

Earlier today, in our preview of the Shelsley Walsh event this weekend, we mentioned that a couple of top drivers had received ’reserve’ entry’s for the event.

Top 10 runners Lee Adams and Richard Speddding are first & second reserves for the British Hillclimb Championship event this weekend.

If you receive a reserve entry, then at most venues you are allowed to practice and then you may or may not be able to compete (I have never been too sure on the criteria on which the decision is made).

Obviously this could have a major effect on Adam’s & Spedding’s seasons, if they are unable to run then the lost points could be sorely missed by the end of the season.

Lee Adams GWR Raptor


Now, this is all purely hypothetical, as (given that the drivers are first and second reserve) there is every chance that they will compete, however this raises a bigger question.

Should priority be given to British Hillclimb Championship contenders at this BHC round?

This depends entirely on the circumstances that have led to this situation. If the drivers involved got their entry forms in on time, then (in my opinion) they should receive entry’s for the event. They are British Championship contenders and it is a BHC round. If the drivers entered late however, then they chose to make it a lottery.


This has been a difficult scenario for many clubs & drivers for many years and has affected Championship results in years gone by.

What do you think? Should BHC contenders get priority if they enter before the closing date?


  1. Steve Wilkinson says:

    In the British Sprint Championship we suggested to organisers that there were two dates for close of entries: (a) for BSC contenders, and (b) one week later for all other entrants. All BSC entries recieved by the first closing date are then guranteed entries whilst any recieved after go into the pile of entries for the remaining places and take the chance of “missing the cut”. On a couple of occasions the same competitor, who has a tendency to leave it to the last minute, has missed the cut. I understand that the situation with the two BHC chaps at Shelsley is down to either being late submitting entries or leaving it very close to the cut off date. I would suggest that the adoption of the two closing dates would (a) make the drivers be more punctual in submitting entries, and (b) would be fairer on those wishing to do the event who are not BHC registered. After all neither set of drivers should be discriminated against!

    Steve Wilkinson

  2. Pistonbroke says:

    Yes, of course – assuming the entries were in by the closing date. Otherwise it leaves the Championship open to manipulation by anyone in an event organising club with an axe to grind

  3. Andy kittle says:

    Na no good expecting the boys to travel down from Scotland on that basis is totally nuts

  4. Andy Barton says:

    What would be the criterion used to determine whether or not a BHC registered driver is a contender? Could a contender be a driver with a score such as to be able to win the championship by the season’s end, say disregarding possible dropped scores? Such calculations might not be completed in time for the meeting itself. It is a competition, so it could be argued that securing an entry is the first part of the competitive process, but it must be remembered that it is not a professional sport, and that those who so courageously entertaintain the spectating public, have to earn a living, between traversing great parts of the UK.

    Speaking as a mere, but serious, onlooker, if I were given a sight of any entry list for a BHC round, my first focus would be to see whether those I perceive as likely to be in the running for a “number” have entered, and I would next wish to know whether any missing entrants were such through intent or oversight. When anyone with any insight attends a well-run hillclimb it is clear to see that much thought and detailed work has been imperative to success. It is also clear that each BHC venue has its own unique character, and regional pre-occupations. There is clearly much more to hillclimbing than the BHC alone.

    I can only imagine how club structures differ, so it is not clear how to arrive at any suggestion for reducing possible problems of this kind in the future. There is a pointer to be found occasionally, when a keen BHC follower can sometimes be found to be in possession of more up-to-date information than a prominent member of a club committee. This is to be expected, as Committees have a wide range problems to overcome, and cannot afford the time to concentrate on the fine detail of the BHC.

    My tentative suggestion would be for clubs hosting BHC rounds to identify a specialist whose entire focus would be the BHC, the current scores, knowledge of known contenders not entering certain rounds, in all capacity classes with registered entrants, and all the other goss which is available to those looking outwards, with the BHC as the prime consideration.
    Would it not be reasonable for this specialist to get on the phone/email to chivvy those from whom a application might fully be expected.

    Maybe all this is already happening in various clubs; if so, well and good, but such expertise, interest, and methods could be shared perhaps. If there were not some kind of problem, then James Wills would not have posed the question, and sought opinions; also perhaps one of the most prestigious hillclimbs in the world would, this coming Sunday, have a full entry of serious contenders for a “number” for 2013, which seems at this moment to be in doubt.

    Andrew Barton
    BHC Spectator

  5. Rich Whitefoot says:

    I guess we dont know all the facts but you would suspect that these guys had their entries in on time then yes they should be given priority to an entry.
    However this is not the case in a lot of the UK’s rallies that is done on a first come first served basis as this has cost me dearly in the past when a still on time but near the closing date meant we did not get an entry and we were at the time leading the championship that made up the mass of the entries.



  6. Paul R says:

    Prior to this season the championship regulations required clubs not to reject entries from registered contenders in favour of unregistered entrants, nor reject registered points scorers in favour of non-points scorers. Subject to a valid entry being made before the closing date etc.

    This provision appears not to be in the current regulations.


  7. Grant Horne says:

    You are forgetting that Lee is also leading the leaders champiomship aswell .

    Andy regarding bhc contender . A bhc contender to me is anyone who has registered for the championship at the start of the season .

    How many other clubs have a reserve list ????
    Is it just not Shelsley over subcribing again ?

  8. Sandra Tomlin says:

    I am interested in Paul’s comment that this year the Championship Regs do not state that priority should be given to Championship contenders. I had presumed this was still the case.

    I was surprised when I saw the entry list that Lee and Richard were reserves and I wasn’t ! I think they should definitely have priority over me because they are more likely to qualify. But at a BHC meeting which I have payed to enter I should have priority over a non-championship entrant !
    I feel very strongly that if the meeting is a BHC event those registered should be the first entries, followed by other championships….then perhaps finally the club members of the venue .

    And Grant I agree the entry list was enormous….and only 2 practice runs guaranteed, whereas Harewood gave us 4 if I remember correctly and Prescott are offering 3 in September. Tim Wilson did say when he and Jackie took over the Championship that they were going to listen to driver’s comments so perhaps we need to make them aware that we feel venues should focus on Championship entrants as a priority and that Sunday morning practice is mandatory. In which case numbers would have to be limited.

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